PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA) has set dates for the 2015 Providence Boat Show for Friday, January 23 to Sunday, January 25. One of the largest winter indoor boat shows in New England, the Providence Boat Show will feature expanded show hours and will build on the success of the 2014 event with highlights including hands-on seminars, a special Volvo Ocean Race feature, and plenty of activities for youth and aspiring boaters.
RIMTA purchased the boat show in 2013 and set out to transform the event with new attractions. The January 2014 show achieved a 21% increase in ticket sales, a 16% rise in space sales, and solid sales for exhibitors—many of whom reported stronger sales than previous years. But one piece of data translates into pure gold for the future of this event: 80% of the attendees are current boat owners, and 55% have plans to buy a boat in the next two to three years.
“The 2014 show was a great start, and we established a successful boat show model that drew the right consumers and generated strong business for our exhibitors,” said Jonathan Banks, the show’s director. “With such a high percentage of attendees looking to purchase a boat in the next two to three years, our focus is to create a show that truly motivates consumers to take the next step.”
Based on exhibitor feedback, organizers have kept the show to three days but have expanded the show hours. The show returns to the Rhode Island Convention Center on Friday, January 23 (10 am – 9 pm), Saturday, January 24 (10 am – 8 pm), and Sunday, January 25 (10 am – 5 pm). This year’s show is a week earlier so it does not conflict with Super Bowl weekend.
The Volvo Ocean Race’s participation at the Providence Boat Show will draw a wide range of boating enthusiasts and will showcase the Ocean State as the only U.S. stopover on the 11-port race. The Volvo Ocean Race starts in October 2014 from Alicante, Spain, and will stop over in Newport in May 2015.
One of the highlights of the 2014 show was the addition of a Show Pavilion, which was used for special guest appearances, seminars, and hands-on presentations, including sea-to-table cooking demonstrations, knot-tying, and other activities. The Show Pavilion will once again be a key focal point of the show and will be expanded to include more hands-on events.
According the RIMTA CEO Wendy Mackie, the Providence Boat Show plays a critical role for the region’s marine industry.
“Not only is this show a way for our industry to market their products and highlight the boating lifestyle in the Ocean State; proceeds from the show help sustain the work RIMTA does on behalf of the industry— including marketing the marine trades, workforce development, and advocacy,” said Mackie. “Success for the Providence Boat Show translates to success for our entire industry.”